Inside This Issue: Highlights of the HIV Research for Prevention Conference, and news on HIV prevention, treatment guidelines, the global epidemic, and digital communication tools.
Highlights from the 2018 HIVR4P Conference
According to its organizers, the 2018 HIV Research for Prevention Conference (HIVR4P 2018) “is the only global scientific conference focused exclusively on the challenging and fast-growing field of biomedical HIV prevention research. HIVR4P supports cross-fertilization among research on HIV vaccines, microbicides, PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis], treatment as prevention, and other biomedical prevention approaches, while also providing a venue to discuss the research findings, questions, and priorities specific to each.” HIVR4P 2018 was held on October 21 through 25 in Madrid, Spain.
If you’d like to review the conference research in depth, the best resource is the official HIVR4P conference website. The site has archived many conference materials, including:
- Poster Presentations: includes full posters and abstracts on a wide range of topics from basic research to policy and advocacy. A facility is also provided to allow people to contact poster presentation authors.
- Webinars: includes slides, video, and downloadable audio recordings of several hundred speakers’ presentations at 48 conference sessions.
- Rapporteurs Summaries: includes daily overviews of key scientific findings presented at HIVR4P.
The AIDSmap website also provides extensive conference coverage on a special HIVR4P 2018 page. Of particular interest is AIDSmap’s conference bulletin, which presents a round-up of news from HIVR4P 2018, with links to full news reports and other relevant resource materials such as presentation slides and abstracts.
Conference Overview Articles from HIVR4P 2018
- NIAID Director, Scientific Sessions Kick Off HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) 2018 (NIAID)
- Final HIV Prevention Research Highlights from HIVR4P 2018 (NIAID)
- HIVR4P Plenary Speech: Implementing a Multidisciplinary Prevention Revolution (AVAC)
- AVAC at HIVR4P 2018, Update 1: #believewomen (AVAC)
- AVAC at HIVR4P 2018, Update 2: The World Is Not a Nail (AVAC)
- AVAC at HIVR4P 2018, Update 3: How We Carry On (AVAC)
PrEP News from HIVR4P 2018
- Beyond Truvada – What Is the Future of PrEP? (AIDSmap)
- Substantial Gaps in PrEP Care Continuum for Trans Women in San Francisco (AIDSmap)
- Boston HIV Clinic Sees 90% Reduction in Infections in People Being Prescribed PrEP (AIDSmap)
- PrEP Providers and Communicators Should Stop Talking about ‘Risk’ (AIDSmap)
- The Long Tail of Injectable PrEP Is Especially Long for Women (AIDSmap)
- Far More People May Be Using PrEP Than We Know, HIV Prevention Conference Hears (AIDSmap)
- 380,000 People on PrEP Globally, Mostly in the USA and Africa (AIDSmap)
- PrEP Is Safe for Pregnant Women Who Want the HIV Prevention Drug, a New Study Finds (TheBodyPro)
- Four New Approaches to PrEP in Development That Aren’t a Daily Pill (TheBodyPRO)
- Longevity of Long-Acting PrEP May Vary Between Men and Women (TheBodyPRO)
- How to Evaluate PrEP and Vaccines: Urgency for Next-Generation Compounds (HIV Treatment Bulletin)
- Cabotegravir Levels Can Be Detected Years After Final Injection: Tail to Be Covered by Oral PrEP (HIV Treatment Bulletin)
Other News from HIVR4P 2018
- 3D Imaging Videos Shows HIV Infection Might Establish Within Hours (HIV Treatment Bulletin)
- Reaching the Men: Who Are the Partners of the Young Women with HIV in South Africa? (AIDSmap)
- Going Local – Prevention Conference Hears about Rings, Douches, and Soluble Suppositories (AIDSmap)
- Vaginal Rings, Films, Inserts, or Gels – It’s All About Choice (AIDSmap)
- First Large HIV Prevention Trial Using Antibodies Will Probably Not Be the Last (AIDSmap)
- The Miami Monkey Cured with Two Antibodies (AIDSmap)
- Successful Trial of Quadrivalent Mosaic HIV Vaccine Paves Way for Larger Study in Southern Africa (TheBodyPRO)
CDC Issue Brief on HIV Prevention for Hispanic/Latino Gay and Bisexual Men
In conjunction with last month's National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), the CDC published an issue brief focusing on HIV prevention for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. The four-page brief summarizes the latest epidemiological data on HIV in this disproportionately affected group and its implications for HIV prevention. The brief also describes the unique social and structural factors that increase HIV risk among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, their HIV continuum of care, and CDC’s efforts to strengthen HIV prevention efforts that respond to the distinct needs of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. The document ends with a discussion of the steps that state and local health departments, community-based organizations, community and religious leaders, and all interested community members can take to reduce new infections among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.
Guidelines and Recommendations
HHS Updates Adult and Adolescent HIV Treatment Guidelines
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an updated version of its Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents Living with HIV. The revised guidelines were developed by an expert panel after reviewing the latest research on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and related issues, including lab tests that can provide valuable information to guide HIV treatment and care.
HHS has developed a “What’s New in the Guidelines?” section listing important updates to its recommendations. The section summarizes recent guidance about:
- the appropriate use of resistance testing and co-receptor tropism testing;
- the risk of neural tube defects in infants born to women receiving the ARV drug dolutegravir (DTG) at the time of conception, as well as guidance for clinicians who are considering the use of DTG or other integrase inhibitors in ARV regimens for women who are pregnant or of child-bearing age;
- changes to HHS recommendations regarding the choice of a person’s first ARV treatment regimen;
- ARV treatment options for persons with multidrug-resistant HIV;
- options for optimizing ARV treatment in persons who have achieved viral suppression; and
- updated information about hepatitis C virus and HIV coinfection, adverse effects of ARVs, prices of commonly used ARVs, and drug-drug interactions.
The Global Epidemic
Declines in HIV Research Funding Place Global Prevention Targets at Risk
Advances in HIV prevention and treatment access have led to substantial reductions in new HIV infections in recent years – leading to the adoption of ambitious prevention targets whose achievement would be an important milestone toward ending the global HIV epidemic. However, recent reductions in funding for HIV prevention research and development could jeopardize these prevention goals, according to a new report, HIV Prevention Research & Development Investments 2017: Investing to End the Epidemic. The report was produced by the Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention R&D Working Group (RTWG), which is led by AVAC, in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and UNAIDS. The RTWG tracks trends in R&D investments and expenditures for biomedical HIV prevention options, including AIDS vaccines, microbicides, multipurpose prevention technologies, PrEP, treatment as prevention, medical male circumcision, female condoms, herpes vaccines, HIV cure, and therapeutic vaccines.
In 2017, HIV research funding declined for the fifth consecutive year, falling to its lowest level in over a decade, the report notes. In 2017, funding for HIV prevention research and development decreased by 3.5% ($40 million) from the previous year, falling to $ 1.1 billion.
The report concludes that meeting the UNAIDS HIV prevention Fast-Track target of less than 500,000 new infections by 2020 (new HIV infections were at 1.8 million in 2017) will require both the expansion of existing prevention options such as voluntary medical male circumcision and PrEP, and the development of innovative approaches to prevention, including long-acting ARV-based prevention options and a vaccine.
“With 5,000 people becoming infected with HIV every day, it is critical that we both scale up the effective HIV prevention programs we currently have and invest in new technologies and solutions so that they can become a reality for the populations most affected by HIV,” notes Tim Martineau, UNAIDS deputy executive director. “Doing both will avert new infections, save lives and reduce the rising costs of life-long antiretroviral treatment.”
Social Media and Digital Communication Tools
More Digital Tools and Tips from HIV.gov
HHS’s HIV.gov blog site has recently published several new posts as part of its ongoing digital marketing and outreach series. The series is designed to help agencies and organizations become more knowledgeable about digital tools and use them effectively in health communications. These posts include:
Keeping Up with Digital Change: describes why HIV.gov provides social media technical assistance (TA) and lists upcoming events and opportunities for HIV organizations to receive social media TA.
New Data: How Youth Use Social Media: summarizes key results of a recent national survey – Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-Being Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S. – and describes how HIV service organizations might use this information to develop innovative ways to connect with youth.
Hot Tips for Using Twitter (Part 1) and Hot Tips for Using Twitter (Part 2): the first two parts of a three-part series focusing on ways to use Twitter more effectively for HIV communication and outreach activities.
Instagram: Are You Making the Most of It?: looks at ways for effectively reaching the vast audience of Instagram users.
ICYMI: New Media Interventions @ AIDS 2018: summarizes research presented at the 2018 International AIDS Conference related to ways that social and digital media can be used to promote HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
How to Achieve ‘Position Zero’ – Five Tips for Increasing Your Content Visibility: describes strategies to increase the chances that your online information will be a top result in Google searches.